Monday, August 9th, 2010

The Future of the Agency – The Agency of the Future

Q: What do you call a B2B agency or B2C agency resistant to change?
A: Dead

Somewhat final – but since Darwin, pretty conclusive.  And yet I find it somewhat ironic that the industry tasked with bringing about change is so bad at changing itself. But all this is about to change and the path of enlightenment will be revealed. We’ve dedicated over six months of our lives to answer the burning question that most of us have, but probably wouldn’t admit to – what is the agency model of the future?

To answer it, at gyro we’ve undertaken extensive research, interviewing scores of brand-side senior marketers delving into exactly what they want. And everyone will be relieved to know that it will form the basis of a book – out in later this year

You may have seen a taster of the research in this week’s issue of Marketing Week . Industry developments are always a hot topic with marketers, but we didn’t realise how hot until we started receiving calls prompted by our research! We’ve still got a few interviews left to do – so please feel free to give us a bell if you are brand side and want your opinion counted.

There are some key areas that are of particular interest. Remuneration, unsurprisingly, in particular has caused debate. The overwhelming majority of people surveyed felt that agencies should be accountable for the commercial success of their work through models such as payment by results. But this throws up the question of how to measure the success of a campaign. More than half of people (55 per cent) disagreed that agency fees should be based purely on time and output, but will results-based payment work for every client?

Another hot bed of discussion is the digital arena. Some 80 per cent of respondents felt that digital agencies are too fragmented and specialised. They are looking for an agency that can offer them a fully integrated offering that includes elements such as design and build, eCRM, search, data, display and social media. Standalone marketing campaigns are no longer effective. Effective marketing is an ongoing conversation with consumers, which means every consumer touch point needs to build on the last form a coherent dialogue.

These are of course, just a snap shot of our findings to date  – what is clear though is that agencies are changing. It is certain the agency of the future will not look like the traditional set up.

By Richard Perry, Chief Operations Officer at London marketing agency, gyro

One Comment

  1. Re: Fragmentation in Digital Agencies

    It is somewhat comforting to think that the standalone campaign has been irreversably poisoned. A great deal of research has been done into the effects of marketing on populations, and the results have consistently shown that a properly executed marketing campaign will yield results, regardless of many factors previously thought to be vital. “Click, whirr” in the words of Cialdini.

    So why the change? From a customer as a pawn to a customer as a discerning entity. Is it the pro-sumer (producer/consumer) effects of web 2.0? Hard to say. What can be said is that there is an increasing market not only for diversity of marketing mediums and strategies, but also for producers. The great deal of internet addicts who would love to produce content for online or digital campaigns may be coming into the fore. A great skilled workforce, behind their computers, linked by data. What is required is a medium and method for uniting them into a coherent production center. Easier said than done, perhaps.

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